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Location: St. Louis, Missouri, United States

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

"Unaligned" Nations to Meet in Tehran

Timothy Birdnow 118 nations will meet in Tehran next week for the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) summit. Interesting choice of locations, wouldn't you say? War with Iran is looming, and the "nonaligned" countries - which now include Putin's Russia and the People's Republic of China - are going there. Action against Iran is going to be very, very unpopular across the globe. But what of it? Brazil has no dog in this fight, nor does South Africa, nor do most of these nations. Russia and china both DO have dogs here (and they better keep them away from the Obama dinner table) and are trying to forstall an attack. This poses a serious problem. Iran cannot be allowed to develop a deliverable atomic device, yet they are on the verge of doing precisely that. I once replied to a commentor on a message thread who asked why it's taken over fifteen years for Iran to develop nukes while the Manhattan Project was able to do it in four. The answer is that Iran is not just trying to develop a working device - a Little Boy, which was a massive thing requiring a heavy bomber to move - but are working to develop a much smaller weapon, one that can be used on a missile. They are working on triggering the weapon with an implosion system rather than the simple gun type trigger. Implosion systems are tricky, but they can greatly reduce the size of an uranium bomb, and the Iranians are working feverishly to develop rockets capable of carrying such a device. That is key; what value is there in building a bomb that can't be used? Modern technology would prevent Iran from using a big, lumbering bomber as a delivery system. If Israel saw such a craft coming they would simply shoot it down. Iran needs a missile capable of carrying their home-made nukes. And they need to develop this while circumventing American and U.N. scrutiny. If they get this weapon they will use it. Another point to ponder; If Iran can build a fissile weapon that can be mounted on a missile, and get the missile close enough to the U.S. (it would be easy to do this to Israel, I might add) they could use an EMP to knock out our electric grid - and most of our advanced electronics. This would be far worse than most people realize; everything uses high tech electronics these days. No cars, no planes, no radios or television, no internet, no pumps for water or gas or anything. Food will rot in the farmers fields while people starve. A commission I wrote about this at American Thinker some years back - and was shouted down by a number of people, one of whom claimed to have been with Operation Starfish Prime, the 1962 nuclear test that airburst a 2 kiloton bomb over Johnston Atoll (it blew up radios and light bulbs all over Hawaii, 800 miles away). I was told that it would require a thermonuclear device to be energetic enough to take down the entire U.S. grid. Balderdash, I say. According to FAS: "An enhanced radiation (ER) weapon, by special design techniques, has an output in which neutrons and x-rays are made to constitute a substantial portion of the total energy released. For example, a standard fission weapon's total energy output would be partitioned as follows: 50% as blast; 35% as thermal energy; and 15% as nuclear radiation. An ER weapon's total energy would be partitioned as follows: 30% as blast; 20% as thermal; and 50% as nuclear radiation. Thus, a 3-kiloton ER weapon will produce the nuclear radiation of a 10-kiloton fission weapon and the blast and thermal radiation of a 1-kiloton fission device. However, the energy distribution percentages of nuclear weapons are a function of yield." Increasing the radiation output is key. What happens in an EMP is that the nuclear bomb releases a burst of gamma rays which strip the electrons from atoms in the air, propelling them in a shock wave. The resultant current surge is very fast, too fast for surge protectors and the like. The result is that any electronic gadget that is not protected will fry. It takes a faraday cage to protect an electronic device from an EMP. So it's possible to boost a fission bomb's radiative output to that of a ten kilotom fusion weapon - ideal for an EMP. No doubt the Iranians have been thinking along these lines. Here is the Executive Summary of the Commission tasked with investigating American preparedness for an EMP attack. It has been estimated by said commission that a full-scale EMP (at least in 2005) could kill 80% of the American population or more. Imagine that; the U.S. goes from a population around 300 million to 60 million! Why? We would be going back to frontier days technology but with a modern population. And we wouldn't HAVE frontier technology. How many people keep horses at home? How many horse-drawn plows are laying around? Telegraph lines? Steam locamotives? Mule wagons? We would have to rebuild such tech while people are starving. Much of the population would take to the roads in search of food, making it impossible for anyone to organize. It would be worse than The Road Warrior. If Iran had the means to threaten the U.S. with such a catastrophe... So Iran must be stopped. But we have far too few allies in this; most countries don't care. They figure it will be no skin off their noses, and it may be fun to watch the greatest power in human history brought to her knees. Be careful what you wish for, I always say; an American collapse would be an unmitigated disaster for the entire world. The commerce done with the United States supports much of the world's population, and if America falls so too do our fairweather friends. But they don't seem to realize it, and, with the duplicity of Russia and China, are prepared to not just bite the hand that feeds but to devour it. And with Barack Obama in trouble in his re-election bid, it seems likely some strike on Iran will happen between now and the election. This is going to be one wild ride, folks!

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